Top U.S. vacation destinations for 2012

Top U.S. vacation destinations for 2012

Most travelers have no plans to cut back on their vacations in the new year, according to a 2012 Travel Trends Survey released by Travel Leaders.

More than 91 percent of Travel Leaders owners, managers and frontline travel experts throughout the U.S.said that their clients plan to spend as much or more on vacation travel in 2012 as they did in 2011.

Actual booking data gathered by the  survey also shows that U.S. travelers remain consistent in their most-wanted vacation destinations. Eight of the top ten domestic destinations for 2012 were also on the top ten list for 2011, and the top two choices –Las Vegas, Nev., and Orlando, Fla.– remain the same.

The enduring popularity of Las Vegas is due to its fabulous opportunities for gaming – as well as golfing, clubbing and shopping – plus the ease of booking a vacation there. After all, there are more than 120,000 hotel rooms to choose from, more than half of them along the famed Las Vegas Strip.

The Vegas hotels that Travel Leaders agents book most often for their clients include the MGM Grand, the world’s largest hotel/resort complex, which has a glass-walled lion habitat inside the casino; and the Bellagio, where elegant attractions include an eight-acre lake with dancing water fountains and a unique lobby ceiling made of beautiful blown glass flowers. Also, since opening little more than a year ago, The Cosmopolitan lands in the top ten.

Most visitors to Orlando love Walt Disney World, with more than 80 percent making reservations at Disney properties. Among the most popular are Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, which features the vibrant colors and laid-back vibe of a Caribbean island; and Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, which offers family suites with kitchenettes and two full baths.

The complete list of the top ten U.S. destinations is a diverse mix of islands, cruises and cities:

  1. Las Vegas, NV
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Maui, HI
  4. Alaska cruising
  5. New York City, NY
  6. Honolulu, HI
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Chicago, IL., up two spots from last year
  9. Los Angeles, CA, up three spots from last year
  10. Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ

The survey also shows that vacationers are booking their travel farther in advance. A majority of travelers now book their U.S. vacations eight weeks or more in advance – both to lock in optimum pricing and to ensure their first choice for flight schedules. Talk with your travel professional soon about your 2012 vacation plans.

Robbert van Bloemendaal, Blue Ribbon News special contributor and world traveler





This travel column was written by special contributor Robbert van Bloemendaal, an experienced world traveler, native of Australia, an Ambassador with the Rowlett Chamber of Commerce, and president of  Travel Leaders of Rowlett.

Read Robbert’s Top International Vacation Destinations for 2012

To submit your news and events or a guest column on your area of expertise, email